A state-based approach to genomics for rare disease and population screening

Academic Article


  • Purpose: The Alabama Genomic Health Initiative (AGHI) is a state-funded effort to provide genomic testing. AGHI engages two distinct cohorts across the state of Alabama. One cohort includes children and adults with undiagnosed rare disease; a second includes an unselected adult population. Here we describe findings from the first 176 rare disease and 5369 population cohort AGHI participants. Methods: AGHI participants enroll in one of two arms of a research protocol that provides access to genomic testing results and biobank participation. Rare disease cohort participants receive genome sequencing to identify primary and secondary findings. Population cohort participants receive genotyping to identify pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants for actionable conditions. Results: Within the rare disease cohort, genome sequencing identified likely pathogenic or pathogenic variation in 20% of affected individuals. Within the population cohort, 1.5% of individuals received a positive genotyping result. The rate of genotyping results corroborated by reported personal or family history varied by gene. Conclusions: AGHI demonstrates the ability to provide useful health information in two contexts: rare undiagnosed disease and population screening. This utility should motivate continued exploration of ways in which emerging genomic technologies might benefit broad populations.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • East KM; Kelley WV; Cannon A; Cochran ME; Moss IP; May T; Nakano-Okuno M; Sodeke SO; Edberg JC; Cimino JJ
  • Start Page

  • 777
  • End Page

  • 781
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 4